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Albany County Sheriff's Office prepares to roll out body cameras

April 11, 2019 11:22 PM

ALBANY --- Potentially by early next week, Albany County Sheriff’s deputies, corrections officers and EMS personnel will be wearing body cameras.

“Change is tough in law enforcement we all know that, but this is a sign of the times,” said Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.

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Apple said he has wanted to get body cameras for a while, but they have been waiting to get some help with funding. What got the ball rolling was a $60,000 grant from New York Attorney General Tish James.

“We grabbed some money from our asset forfeiture account purchased the rest of it and we have an investment of roughly $271,000 for roughly 200 body cameras, chargers, clips, the magnetic holders, a variety of different holders,” explained Apple.

While many department use Axon body cameras made by Taser, Sheriff Apple said they went with Panasonic cameras. They will sync up with the deputies dashboard cameras in their vehicle.

“The minute those emergency lights are activated, the guys camera goes on as well,” said Apple. “So the in car camera is on and the body camera is on so when he gets to a scene he can just focus on the mission at hand.”

As for corrections officers, Apple said they will have to turn on their body camera anytime they’re interacting with an inmate.

“If it's a use of force, you hit one button and that button, that video is sent into a special file,” said Apple. “If it's just a general interaction it's another file.”

Sheriff Apple said they have created a massive server for the footage that will be kept at the sheriff’s office. He said deputies will upload the footage at the end of each shift and internal affairs will be reviewing it daily.

“We have it set where every deputy will have so many videos reviewed on a monthly basis,” said Apple. “It could be two or three a week, but there are special occasions where there’s excessive force or a use of force or something, a violent situation. That’s automatically red flagged and that’ll be reviewed.”

Credits

Emily De Vito

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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